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DOG / health & care

How Much Exercise Does My Dog Need?

It all depends on your particular pooch

Overview

Help keep your dog physically fit

Dogs need regular exercise to stay healthy, just like people. Movement is good for their bodies and brain. How do you know how much exercise (and what kind) your dog needs? It depends on several factors including your dog’s age, personality, physical ability, body type and energy level.

One way to judge whether dogs are getting enough cardio is to monitor their behavior. Dogs who seem constantly hyperactive may simply have a lot of pent-up energy. Grab that leash and go!

How much exercise?

Aim for a brisk 20 to 30 minute walk, twice a day and adjust that amount depending on your dog’s needs. A young, high-energy sporting breed may require a lot more exercise than an elderly dog, which may need or want less.

If the weather is bad, give your dog a mental workout instead. Work on obedience training, play tug-of- war, or offer a puzzle toy with a treat inside.

Work out safely

Before intensive exercise, dogs need to warm up too. Before you head out for a run with your pet, it’s a good idea to put them through some light tricks to prevent pulled or strained muscles. Try “doggie sit-ups.” Ask your dog to “sit” and then “lie down” a few times. This activity will ready your dog for a workout and reinforce basic obedience training.

If your pup seems pooped or wants to stop playing, stop.

Make sure your dog is hydrated (but don’t offer too much water right before heavy exercise). Always wait at least 20 minutes after a brisk workout before serving any food or treats, to avoid tummy upset.

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